Matic as single pivot [Pogba stays scenario]

MadDogg

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I rue the day we let Fabinho sign for Liverpool. That single signing would have literally revolutionised our midfield
That's one that will always annoy me. Fabinho was quite open about wanting to join us, but we just weren't interested. A season later he joined Liverpool and the rest is history.

I still don't think he would have been able to play by himself behind Pogba and Bruno, but he would have done it better than any of our current options.
 

RUCK4444

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Does anybody actually think Matic is capable of this at this stage?

He was terrible for large periods yesterday, passing, positionally, you name it. Completely and utterly gone.

A 26 year old Matic, yes, but this guy is done at this level. And I was a supporter of his, he was a very good player, but we cannot trust him in a double pivot let alone as a lone DM.
 

MadMike

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If you watch Newcastle's goal yesterday when Almiron beat the press in midfield and started running at our defence, Matic was 10 meters ahead of Manquillo (Newcastle's RB).

By the time St-Maximin received the ball at the edge of our box and Varane went across to intercept him, Manquillo was catching up to St-Maximin and ready to provide the overlap. Matic was now 10m behind the action.

He just doesn't have the legs any more. Not for pivoting, not for pressing, not for tracking runners. People shit on McFred, but either of them would be busting a gut and doing a lot better at getting back to help the defence. Some of you are getting excited because we overpowered Newcastle at OT and you are turning a blind eye to the obvious frailties we also showed in that game.
 

Kostov

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Matic is quality. Absolutely class today.
He's a class act and some in here don't realise it. Similar to Carrick, we'll realize how good he is when he is gone.
He was also galloping like the 80 year old CDM he is when Newcastle counter attacked and once scored.
 

Dve

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Does anybody actually think Matic is capable of this at this stage?

He was terrible for large periods yesterday, passing, positionally, you name it. Completely and utterly gone.

A 26 year old Matic, yes, but this guy is done at this level. And I was a supporter of his, he was a very good player, but we cannot trust him in a double pivot let alone as a lone DM.
Bollocks. He had 93% pass accuracy which is really excellent knowing must of his passes went forward. And what exactly was wrong with his positioning? Care to elaborate?
 

Litch

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If you watch Newcastle's goal yesterday when Almiron beat the press in midfield and started running at our defence, Matic was 10 meters ahead of Manquillo (Newcastle's RB).

By the time St-Maximin received the ball at the edge of our box and Varane went across to intercept him, Manquillo was catching up to St-Maximin and ready to provide the overlap. Matic was now 10m behind the action.

He just doesn't have the legs any more. Not for pivoting, not for pressing, not for tracking runners. People shit on McFred, but either of them would be busting a gut and doing a lot better at getting back to help the defence. Some of you are getting excited because we overpowered Newcastle at OT and you are turning a blind eye to the obvious frailties we also showed in that game.
Agree. I think Matic can still offer something but not in this system. He'd be better with a back five. I think it's hard to play in a pivot if the other player doesnt help you defensively. I think either Ole is going to have to accept we will concede goals, but hope we score more, hope the defensive can offer the CDM support by playing higher up or resort back to McFred and play Pogs on left?
 

Kostov

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Newcastle was one of the most defensively setup teams I’ve seen come to OT in a long time. Yet they still managed 12 attempts on our goal with numerous occasions where Matic was not even in the camera shot. Definitely worth you watching the match again.
I think he probably slept for the majority of the game.
 

Kostov

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In my opinion there is no single player who can cover for Bruno & Pogba, it’s not invalid as no one has proven any different, Fred, Matic & McTommy have all been tried. You think differently then please provide evidence.
Wrong they play with 3 midfielders, same as Juve when he was there! Go fact checking yourself. Matuidi was 100% in midfield to support Kante.
Two of them are not even CDM and the other is way past his best. I bet Ndidi or Rice would fit nicely besides Pogba and Bruno, but that’s just my honest opinion.
 

AgentSmith

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That's one that will always annoy me. Fabinho was quite open about wanting to join us, but we just weren't interested. A season later he joined Liverpool and the rest is history.

I still don't think he would have been able to play by himself behind Pogba and Bruno, but he would have done it better than any of our current options.
I think a player like Fabinho would enable us to play a 4-2-3-1 with Pogba and Bruno in the same side against most of the teams throughout the season. In the bigger games we’d still have to adapt the system and push Pogba forward (or to the bench) but for ~70% of matches we’d be well set up with this;

De Gea
AWB - Varane - Maguire - Shaw
Fabinho - Pogba
Greenwood - Bruno - Sancho
Ronaldo​

Based on our opening schedule it wouldn’t have been until the Leicester game (16th October) at the earliest that I would have felt uncomfortable with the defensive stability of that team. And even then I’d be happy to bite the bullet and roll with it given how strong the attacking potential is.

A proper CDM to anchor our midfield is the final piece of the jigsaw for our starting XI. I’m sure Ole realises this as well and is just happy to show restraint until his 1st choice (by all accounts, Declan Rice) is available. Similar to the pursuit of Sancho.
 

Borys

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I see what kind of mistake I've made in the thread title - people see "single pivot" and ignore the rest of the OP thinking it's just Matic as DM plus two AMs bombing forward. My bad.
Anyway, it's a lost cause, we never play midfield 3 anyway, so I just hope we can slide through games with semi competent midfield 2 until McTominay is back. I don't see games in our schedule (apart from Aston Villa) where we can get away playing Matic/Fred and Pogba in midfield so I'm a bit worried we're not looking for alternatives.
 

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Any tactic that involves Matic in the starting XI is failure.

I liked the signing when it happened and he was still class for about 18 months. It's over now. Another baffling contract extension.
 

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Bollocks. He had 93% pass accuracy which is really excellent knowing must of his passes went forward. And what exactly was wrong with his positioning? Care to elaborate?
He literally misplaced at least 10 passes, some high up the pitch causing counters, couldn’t do the basics for large periods which is unlike him although his legs have been completely gone for a year now.

Literally large sections of where I were sitting were shouting at Ole to take him off :lol:

We were so scrappy and he was one of the chief reasons. 93% passing accuracy is nothing in that position and doesn’t tell the story when the vast majority are simple.

Not to mention he was run past multiple times, they were running through us at will at certain times, that’s Newcastle when he’s with a midfield partner. Then as I said he drops deeper than our last defender when he’s tired (which he’s done for ages.)

Either way there is ZERO chance he can play as a lone DM.
 

Dve

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He literally misplaced at least 10 passes, some high up the pitch causing counters, couldn’t do the basics for large periods which is unlike him although his legs have been completely gone for a year now.

Literally large sections of where I were sitting were shouting at Ole to take him off :lol:

We were so scrappy and he was one of the chief reasons. 93% passing accuracy is nothing in that position and doesn’t tell the story when the vast majority are simple.

Not to mention he was run past multiple times, they were running through us at will at certain times, that’s Newcastle when he’s with a midfield partner. Then as I said he drops deeper than our last defender when he’s tired (which he’s done for ages.)

Either way there is ZERO chance he can play as a lone DM.
I have no doubt the section you were sitting were shouting at Ole to take him off, and you got carried away, didn´t you. Only Maguire on the pitch had a higher percentage of successful passes than Matic, and I´m sorry to say that your subjective and obviously biased view on Matic´s performance does not beat the statistics. Yes, he got ran past a couple of times, but in sum, Newcastle hardly created anything.
 

noodlehair

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We literally had no midfield yesterday.

How can anyone possibly have watched that game and think all was fine there? Newcastle just ran straight at our defence every single time we lost the ball.
 

RedDevilLucio

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If you watch Newcastle's goal yesterday when Almiron beat the press in midfield and started running at our defence, Matic was 10 meters ahead of Manquillo (Newcastle's RB).

By the time St-Maximin received the ball at the edge of our box and Varane went across to intercept him, Manquillo was catching up to St-Maximin and ready to provide the overlap. Matic was now 10m behind the action.

He just doesn't have the legs any more. Not for pivoting, not for pressing, not for tracking runners. People shit on McFred, but either of them would be busting a gut and doing a lot better at getting back to help the defence. Some of you are getting excited because we overpowered Newcastle at OT and you are turning a blind eye to the obvious frailties we also showed in that game.
Agree with this. Keep playing Matic against teams you can run in 3/4 goals against it doesn’t matter that we concede the counter attack goal or 2.
 

RUCK4444

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I have no doubt the section you were sitting were shouting at Ole to take him off, and you got carried away, didn´t you. Only Maguire on the pitch had a higher percentage of successful passes than Matic, and I´m sorry to say that your subjective and obviously biased view on Matic´s performance does not beat the statistics. Yes, he got ran past a couple of times, but in sum, Newcastle hardly created anything.
In fact I never, I don't take part in any negative nonsense in the stadium, or here in fact. What I did see with my own eyes was a VERY average performance and I would say he was by far our worst player in that shaky first half especially.

Watch it back and look at the misplaced passes, you can probably hear the crowds frustration, I certainly could, as well as the period he was overrun. I assume you think he's capable of playing as this sole DM the OP is eluding to?

This version of Matic has looked terrible in this short start to the season, like the majority of performances last season, being overrun and turned time and again by some of the more average teams in the league, then when he's tired dropping into the defence as the last man at times (same as last season) when were supposed to be playing a higher line.
 

RUCK4444

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We literally had no midfield yesterday.

How can anyone possibly have watched that game and think all was fine there? Newcastle just ran straight at our defence every single time we lost the ball.
Some even think the likes of Matic had a decent game yesterday! It's nowhere near good enough.

I'm not a fan of McFred but it's absolutely necessary compared to anything involving Matic.
 

Dve

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In fact I never, I don't take part in any negative nonsense in the stadium, or here in fact. What I did see with my own eyes was a VERY average performance and I would say he was by far our worst player in that shaky first half especially.

Watch it back and look at the misplaced passes, you can probably hear the crowds frustration, I certainly could, as well as the period he was overrun. I assume you think he's capable of playing as this sole DM the OP is eluding to?

This version of Matic has looked terrible in this short start to the season, like the majority of performances last season, being overrun and turned time and again by some of the more average teams in the league, then when he's tired dropping into the defence as the last man at times (same as last season) when were supposed to be playing a higher line.
He was better the first half than the second. Actually, I would as far as to say he he was one of our best players. Yes, I remember that moan from the crown late first half when Matic misplaced a pass in attack, but that was one of the very few misplaced passes he did first half. I think you are the one that needs to look it back.
 

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He was better the first half than the second. Actually, I would as far as to say he he was one of our best players. Yes, I remember that moan from the crown late first half when Matic misplaced a pass in attack, but that was one of the very few misplaced passes he did first half. I think you are the one that needs to look it back.
He lost the ball in both halves, some were simple passes, which isn't even my main concern with him but the crowd were on his back already before half time. The bigger concern is that his legs have gone which is ever present when watching him. Just look at how many posters saying the same, he's done.

We cannot rely on him at the base of midfield, if you think his performance yesterday is ample enough in this league when an average Newcastle ran through us at times then fair enough, each to their own. I think we will see him benched for McFred again as soon as Scott is fit. And I'm in no way a fan of the McFred requirement.
 

LDUred

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Matic is only 33 but he looked every single one of those years against Newcastle.

As a player who is way more technical than mobile he should have gone to Italy already.

I'm actually a fan of his style of play and he does still use the ball well. However, it is clear as day that he doesn't have the legs for English football anymore.
 

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Matic is only 33 but he looked every single one of those years against Newcastle.

As a player who is way more technical than mobile he should have gone to Italy already.

I'm actually a fan of his style of play and he does still use the ball well. However, it is clear as day that he doesn't have the legs for English football anymore.
Not only that, I think his passing is not the best. He takes a long time to think about his next pass and is hopelessly one footed (Carrick for example was much more two footed and moved the ball on much quicker). To say he doesn't have the legs is an understatement. Add to that, his positioning isn't exceptional either. He often gets passed around, so unlike Carrick he can't just sit and shield he often has to go chasing people and pressing them and then just gets left behind.
 

noodlehair

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Some even think the likes of Matic had a decent game yesterday! It's nowhere near good enough.

I'm not a fan of McFred but it's absolutely necessary compared to anything involving Matic.
It's going to feck our season if we keep trying it.

If Newcastle had a bit more about them yesterday they could have had a few goals quite easily. It turned what should have been a routine win into a struggle until the third goal. Probably not even a win without the Ronaldo factor
 

TrustInOle

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Pogba's best partner and a shame to see his legs going! That said, was incredible for large parts yesterday and we should be using him sparingly, I have faith Scott can take up his mantle with a bit more mentor development as Matic himself see's Scott as a younger version of himself.

The Carrick comparison is spot on in my opinion (Not comparing ability) just abit more robust as a bonus.
 

MvG

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I’m reading this thread and genuinely baffled that so many think Matic was good yesterday. It’s as if charging forward with the ball under no pressure at all is the measure of doing a job as a CDM. Never mind that he was nowhere to be seen when Newcastle countered and ran at our defense at will. He was terrible yesterday. Truly awful. Could’ve cost us a few goals easily. He will cost us vital points this season if we persist with him.
 

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It's going to feck our season if we keep trying it.

If Newcastle had a bit more about them yesterday they could have had a few goals quite easily. It turned what should have been a routine win into a struggle until the third goal. Probably not even a win without the Ronaldo factor
Yeah not to be negative but the game was never under our control in honesty and it stems from that lack of a real top quality DM.

Brucey was quite happy with their performance because of the amount of chances they created at Old Trafford (his words.) Those chances all came from them running through the middle of us and mostly straight past Matic. A few times he should have just brought the player down, but we are poor at tactical fouls in general unlike City and the Scousers.

I don't like getting on a certain players back but we have to get after a DM again in January if one is available. My hope is that McFred is enough for us to mount a challenge.

The problem will come when Marcus is fit again, because if he plays off the left as we'd expect then where does Pogba play other than in the midfield two? But even with a good performance from Pogba yesterday we don't have a player sufficiently capable of partnering him.

I think Pogba can play there, like yesterday, against a large proportion of teams BUT we need an elite defensively minded player for him to play there and shine and for us to not be opened up. We don't have that player. A Rice, Casemiro, Kante, Fernandinho type. If we did I would have us as favourites for the title.
 
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I rue the day we let Fabinho sign for Liverpool. That single signing would have literally revolutionised our midfield
Would he have been given the chance to succeed at our club considering it took him 6 months or a season to adapt and start putting in world class performances? I get the feeling at our club the press and fans would have written him off much more ferociously than they did during his fist year at Liverpool and the manager wouldn’t have given him the run of games that he got at pool to end up turning the tide.
 

Ivor Ballokov

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Would he have been given the chance to succeed at our club considering it took him 6 months or a season to adapt and start putting in world class performances? I get the feeling at our club the press and fans would have written him off much more ferociously than they did during his fist year at Liverpool and the manager wouldn’t have given him the run of games that he got at pool to end up turning the tide.
Like Fred was?
 

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He's a has been. I like him, true fighter,always trying, but for that position, you cannot be a starter if we really want to win trophies again
 

Dve

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He lost the ball in both halves, some were simple passes, which isn't even my main concern with him but the crowd were on his back already before half time. The bigger concern is that his legs have gone which is ever present when watching him. Just look at how many posters saying the same, he's done.

We cannot rely on him at the base of midfield, if you think his performance yesterday is ample enough in this league when an average Newcastle ran through us at times then fair enough, each to their own. I think we will see him benched for McFred again as soon as Scott is fit. And I'm in no way a fan of the McFred requirement.
I just watched the first 45 again, and I have to correct myself when I said his misplaced pass in the first half when the crowed moaned was one of his very few misplaced passes first half. In fact it was his ONLY misplaced pass first half (43:09: trying to find Shaw on the left, but the pass was interrupted). He wasn´t overrun once. Instead he collected the ball several times and started attacks with precise forward passes up to Fernandes. Matic was brilliant first half and your memory fails you.

Edit: The discussion of his general performances, and the general view of him as a player is a different discussion to be had, but when you rate someones performance in a specific game, it has the be based on that specific game. Not your general view of the player.
 
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Redfrog

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I think a player like Fabinho would enable us to play a 4-2-3-1 with Pogba and Bruno in the same side against most of the teams throughout the season. In the bigger games we’d still have to adapt the system and push Pogba forward (or to the bench) but for ~70% of matches we’d be well set up with this;

De Gea
AWB - Varane - Maguire - Shaw
Fabinho - Pogba
Greenwood - Bruno - Sancho
Ronaldo​

Based on our opening schedule it wouldn’t have been until the Leicester game (16th October) at the earliest that I would have felt uncomfortable with the defensive stability of that team. And even then I’d be happy to bite the bullet and roll with it given how strong the attacking potential is.

A proper CDM to anchor our midfield is the final piece of the jigsaw for our starting XI. I’m sure Ole realises this as well and is just happy to show restraint until his 1st choice (by all accounts, Declan Rice) is available. Similar to the pursuit of Sancho.
Yeah, but will Cristiano Button and Benjamin Cavani will stay young forever ?
If not by the time we get a target we will need someone else in another position.
 

RUCK4444

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I just watched the first 45 again, and I have to correct myself when I said his misplaced pass in the first half when the crowed moaned was one of his very few misplaced passes first half. In fact it was his ONLY misplaced pass first half (43:09: trying to find Shaw on the left, but the pass was interrupted). He wasn´t overrun once. Instead he collected the ball several times and started attacks with precise forward passes up to Fernandes. Matic was brilliant first half and your memory fails you.

Edit: The discussion of his general performances, and the general view of him as a player is a different discussion to the had, but when you rate someone performances in a specific game, it has the be based on that specific game. Not the general view you have on the players.
OK bud we we all watching a different game and Matic was brilliant yesterday, I'm sure.
 
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Matic at his peak was top quality, and even as recently as the restart in 2019/20 it was obvious just how superior he still was to Fred and McTominay in terms of composure, passing, decision-making and positioning.

Now he's a complete liability (again) and has been for 12 months running. Beyond useless.
 

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Yeah, but will Cristiano Button and Benjamin Cavani will stay young forever ?
If not by the time we get a target we will need someone else in another position.
The thing is-forwards,CBs (remember Blanc),and especially goalies can last longer. Matic' position is much different
Thatis why Ronaldo will play until he is 38-39, Matic cannot
 

Dve

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OK bud we we all watching a different game and Matic was brilliant yesterday, I'm sure.
There are still certain facts you cannot deny. When you said he lost the ball on several occasions first half, that´s just simply wrong. It´s not about opinions.

He lost the ball a couple times second half though, but not to the extend you say. This is also very much backed by the stats, so sorry mate, you are just being biased.
 

RUCK4444

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There are still certain facts you cannot deny. When you said he lost the ball on several occasions first half, that´s just simply wrong. It´s not about opinions.

He lost the ball a couple times second half though, but not to the extend you say. This is also very much backed by the stats, so sorry mate, you are just being biased.
Perhaps I remembered the lost balls being primarily in the first half because large sections were getting on his back even before half time (just due to his overall performance level.)

But your being pedantic because he was poor yesterday, like many other posters here I was unhappy with his sloppy passing, him being run past easily, and for Newcastle creating 3-4 decent chances because they could run through our midfield with relative ease.

Your clearly the one being biased here if you think he was good enough yesterday and if that performance will stand up against better opposition.
 

MattofManchester

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I think people need reminding that we played Newcastle yesterday.

Matic in the team for the most part is a no go.
We got away with it because Newcastle are so negative.
 

Dve

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Perhaps I remembered the lost balls being primarily in the first half because large sections were getting on his back even before half time (just due to his overall performance level.)

But your being pedantic because he was poor yesterday, like many other posters here I was unhappy with his sloppy passing, him being run past easily, and for Newcastle creating 3-4 decent chances because they could run through our midfield with relative ease.

Your clearly the one being biased here if you think he was good enough yesterday and if that performance will stand up against better opposition.
Yes, people moaned after his one misplaced pass, because it was him doing it. Matic has shown before that he can hit back after being labeled too old, so we´ll see. He was one of our best players in preseason, so he is showing trait of good form, and then I believe he can do a job for us. And I will judge him on his actual performance. You can keep on arguing that your section shouted they wanted him subbed. The crowed moaned and many in here agree with you. If you want.